Journal of European Studies, December 2010, Vol.40(4), pp.355-373
Notes that the most ardent public controversies concerning Germany's Nazi past and its guilt for the Holocaust - those around the "Historikerstreit" of 1986-87, Goldhagen's book of 1996, and the so-called "Wehrmachtsausstellung" in 1995-99 - broke down as a result of economic downturns and high unemployment. On the other hand, the controversy around Fritz Fischer's book "Griff nach der Weltmacht" (1961), published against a background of economic upturn, remained largely within the academic arena and did not turn into a public "Holocaust Moment" able to contribute to moral reconstitution of the Germans. This fact can be explained not only by the psychology of the "Homo economicus", for whom satisfying material needs always comes before dealing with moral issues, but also by the place that work has always held on the scale of German values. Work has served the Germans as a moral drug, gratifying them with a sense of moral superiority and distracting them from other ethical issues.
Fischer Controversy ; Goldhagen Affair ; Historikerstreit ; Vergangenheitsbewältigung ; Wehrmachtsausstellung ; History & Archaeology
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